Self-Acceptance Is the Happy Habit Practiced the Least

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introvertspringAnswer this question: How often are you kind to yourself and think you’re fine as you are? Choose a number between one and ten.

If you rated yourself at a five or less, you fall in line with 46 percent of the 5,000 people recently surveyed by the charity Action for Happiness, in collaboration with Do Something Different, on habits that promote happiness.

The happy habits included in the survey are based on the Ten Keys to Happier Living framework, developed by Action for Happiness based on an extensive review of the latest research about what really affects mental wellbeing. Together the Ten Keys spell the acronym GREAT DREAM, as follows:

  • Giving: do things for others
  • Relating: connect with people
  • Exercising: take care of your body
  • Appreciating: notice the world around
  • Trying out: keep learning new things
  • Direction: have goals to look forward to
  • Resilience: find ways to bounce back
  • Emotion: take a positive approach
  • Acceptance: be comfortable with who you are
  • Meaning: be part of something bigger

The survey also revealed which habits are most closely related to people’s overall satisfaction with life. All 10 habits were found to be strongly linked to life satisfaction, with Acceptance found to be the habit that predicts it most strongly. Yet Acceptance was also revealed as the habit that people tend to practice the least, generating the lowest average score from the 5,000 respondents.

When answering the Acceptance question, people’s average rating was just 5.56 out of 10. Only 5% of people put themselves at a 10 on the Acceptance habit. Around one in five people (19%) scored an 8 or 9; Less than a third (30%) scored a 6 or 7; and almost half (46%) of people rated themselves at 5 or less.

Dr. Mark Williamson, Director of Action for Happiness, said: “Our society puts huge pressure on us to be successful and to constantly compare ourselves with others. This causes a great deal of unhappiness and anxiety. These findings remind us that if we can learn to be more accepting of ourselves as we really are, we’re likely to be much happier. The results also confirm us that our day-to-day habits have a much bigger impact on our happiness than we might imagine.”

Source: University of Hertfordshire

Image: introvertspring.com

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Therese Borchard
I am a writer and chaplain trying to live a simple life in Annapolis, Maryland.

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6 Responses
  1. Although I fail miserably with most of these really worthy traits, I can always achieve at least one of these during a day. Love this post T.

  2. Ammah

    Another great post to ponder.

    Happiness is accepting your family….. stop judging & throwing stones at them. ( Family includes not only parents. It includes auntie, uncles, siblings, grandparents ) Yes it is true we don’t chose our family but we put on different faces for friends. I feel some of us push our family ( cut off ) because we are trying to not see our own self, our own weakness our own failures. Lying to our self keeps us further from reaching our happiness.